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When God comes and shows us something new we can be tempted to look around for a bucket and rope. When Jesus encounters the Samaritan women at a well he spoke to her of “living water.” He spoke from a spiritual point of view, but her initial response was to look around for a bucket and rope to get this water he spoke of. “Bucket thinking” always looks at things from what we have or can do. “Living water” thinking will be to always look at things from a Spiritual oo heavenly perspective first.

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I want you to picture “Catalyst,” “60 minutes” or some other television interview program. Now pretend that there is a panel discussing the topic of “Children, parenting and the future.” On the panel is a T.V. personality, Rebecca Gibney from Packed to the Rafters, an eminent child psychologist, the minister of children and families, someone from the Australian council of social services and… the children’s ministries director from a large Christian denomination. Which one is going to be seen as being biased, perhaps less intelligent and whose input should be least considered? I would like to suggest it will be the Church representative.

We are bombarded with subtle messages that Faith solutions are no solutions. The interesting thing is that those “suspicious” of the church worker in the above scenario won’t just be from the secular community but can I suggest, Christian’s that may be watching such a program. Why do I use this fictitious (but realistic) illustration? To highlight the assault that is constantly being leveled at faith, the unseen, God’s relevancy and its effects on Christians.

I was reading John 4 this week and the encounter between Jesus and the Women of Samaria. If you’re not familiar with the story you can read it online here. What struck me was the way Jesus applies a Spiritual solution to very “Real world” needs. This women had lived with 5 different men. The Culture of that day where there was no social security, meant that she probably was living as a slave.

Living in the house of a man who was probably already married, she had probably been invited into that house and given a roof over her head as long as she worked and satisfied that man’s “needs”. The shame of her life (and reputation) meant she went out to draw the necessary water, in the heat of the day, on her own, when no one could make her feel worse than she already did.

Enter Jesus. This women is lonely, hot, abused, discarded, hope-less…the bottom of the social pile. Yet the “Work” that Jesus had that day, assigned to him by the Holy Spirit was to take a 40 klm walking detour to meet with this lady (don’t you love the heart of God that values those who are often least valued). Jesus’ solution to her needs…”You need living water.” Jesus brought a Spiritual solution first and as this lady questioned him he continued to bring a Spiritual solution.

Sometimes when we are faced with a problem, either ours or someone else’s we can can begin with seeking God and his solution but then as the pressure comes, or like this lady, when we don’t understand initially what God is saying to us, we begin to retreat to natural solutions. By natural, I mean solutions where we seek to be in control.

When Jesus said to this lady, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” Her response was “Sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?” When Jesus gave a solution from the unseen, from the realm of the Spirit, her answer was to look for a bucket and rope.

When I hit the hard issues, the difficult issues those things beyond me as a father, husband, leader and pastor it can be easy to start looking around for a bucket and rope- the “natural” solutions. When I do, I think I’m doing so for the same reason that people could be suspicious of the Christian Children’s worker. Its because I don’t really believe God’s got an answer.

I have chatted about Triplets several times in the last few weeks. Its because I believe they are important for us being people of faith, seeking God’s solutions to what challenges us. Some of you may have thought, “That would be good but where am I going to get the time for that?” Making time for triplets or other small places of prayer, encouragement and accountability is about us seeking God’s solutions to the challenges we face.

On December the 9th I’m going to have an evening for those interested in heading up or being a part of a Triplet. I’m going to be writing a small triplet handout. If you’re interested in coming on the 9th, being in a triplet, initiating one or getting that booklet then just reply to this email with “I’m interested in….” and slot in one of the above options.

Have a great week,

Dave.

“It’s hard to get through day to day without money, we all need it. As followers of Jesus God has given to us a new currency to spend. We often though don’t spend the Kingdom currency the Father has deposited within us, why is that? Like Jesus’ disciples we fail at times to dig up the soil of our lives so that when God reveals truths to us it has a great place to be sown and bring the positive change the Father intends.”

Also Greg Luke shares about a time when God showed him something about treasure and truth.

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Godly pressure Its time you were full of wind!

Gidday everyone,

What a great day we had yesterday. I had a ball. I wish it was Sunday every day! It was great to have Robbie and Jo Keen visit from Jenga. They are on furlow from their work in Uganda. You can find out more about their work by clicking here. You can also watch a youtube clip about their work by clicking here. If someone in your home group has a laptop or easy access to a computer perhaps you could look at it together.

Yesterday I showed an old clip from Bill Cosby. In it he hilariously demonstrated the “brain damaged” nature of children. His definition was that if you are told what not to do and yet keep doing it then you are “Brain damaged.”

This clip reminded me that we are all “brain damaged” and absolutely need the Spirit. On our own we have no ability to change or to walk in the inheritance that Jesus won for us on the cross. That’s why the Lord said, talking of the days when the Holy Spirit would be available to every believer, “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant…it will not be like the old covenant …This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people (Jeremiah 31:31-33).”

The Lord’s new covenant bypasses our minds (by that I don’t mean that we are mindless Christians), our spirit under the direction of the Spirit controls our will to led and empower us into all that our heavenly Father has for us. But how do we move to this vibrant connection with the Spirit?

Belinda Quinlivan shared yesterday about how she had gone through a very tough time earlier this year. It brought her to a point where she needed to listen to God and receive some help. She struggled to come to that place. She had told herself that she was “Ok,” that she had already worked through her issues after coming to Jesus 13 years ago. In her mind she was now someone to help others. She was “alright.”

While she was in this “Brain damaged” state of relying on self, change didn’t occur. Rather it was her willingness to finally surrender to the promptings of the Spirit and the Love of others that breakthrough, change and restoration occurred.

I believe God has us as a church in time of preparation. Out of Love He is convicting us, purifying us and equipping us. Brining our will in alignment with his will. It’s great to experience and to watch in others.

The key to this time or Preparation is our willingness to be honest and vulnerable with each other. Love, honesty and confession with a few others is crucial to us inviting a place where the Spirit is able to move.

If you recognize this time of Preparation I want to encourage you to consider a triplet. If you want to find out more about triplets then let me know. Even if you’re just exploring it I’d like to be able to share some more with you.

Have a great week.

Dave.

“In a classic routine, Bill Cosby the comedian said that children who know their parents instructions and yet repeatedly don’t do it are ‘Brain damaged.’ If thats the case then when it comes to our heavenly parent, then we as his children are all ‘Brain damaged.’ That why he has given us the Spirit. Do you want to walk in the ‘More’ God has for you? Then you need more of the Spirit. ”

Included in this session was the testimony of Belinda who had gone through a very rough time this year.

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We were privileged to have Robby Keen the director of Jenga Uganda come and speak to us of the work of Jenga in the slums of Mbale, Uganda.

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For our Body, Soul and Spirit to be in alignment with Gods will, God speaking through Jeremiah encourages us to stand, ask and walk in God’s direction to find rest.

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